Germany raises issue of human rights with Egypt’s Sisi


German Chancellor Angela Merkel took up the issue of human rights with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during a meeting in Berlin, a government spokesman said Wednesday.

The talks came on the sidelines of the Compact with Africa summit.

“The chancellor has of course used the opportunity of bilateral meetings yesterday and today to address more advanced topics, the way she has done it also in the past. Issues like democracy, human rights, freedom of movement of civil society and this was also the case with her talks with the Egyptian president,” Steffen Seibert said during the routine weekly government press briefing.

The Egyptian leader arrived in Berlin on Sunday to attend the meetings.

Earlier this week, the German government lambasted the Sisi government for its dismal human rights record.

“We see there is still room for improvement when it comes to, for example, the state of freedom of expression,” German Foreign Ministry Spokesman Christopher Burger told the press in Berlin on Monday.

“We hope for improvement when it comes to the working conditions for the civil society and non-governmental organizations and we are as a whole of the belief that stability and also a successful approach against terrorism must be linked to social, economic and political participation of the whole population and it is against this background that we shape our relations with Egypt,” Burger added.

Egypt’s human rights records under Sisi’s regime has also faced strong criticism at the UN, with many countries expressing alarm over detention conditions and shrinking freedoms in the Arab country, which was recently rocked by mass protests.
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